Belper Hockey Club today spoke of their pride after local girl and their former player Hollie Webb scored the winning penalty for Great Britain’s GB hockey team to win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
GB had draw 3-3 with the Dutch, but it was ice-cool Hollie, 25, that put away the decisive penalty to secure the first GB hockey medal since 1988, when the men’s team won a famous gold.
A Belper club spokesman said: “We are obviously immensely proud that Hollie came through our system.
“It was obviously great to watch and the game was shown on a big screen in the club house last night.
Click HERE to watch a picture slideshow of the game
Click HERE to read the Belper News report of the game
“It was great to see her score the winning goal. Hollie has always been very single-minded so I had no hesitation she would stay cool, calm and collected enough to put put that penalty shuffle away.
“I was first aware of her at about the age of 10 when she was in our U11s mini hockey team that won the national finals.
“With the U13s mini hockey she won two national finals. Every year as she progressed the Belper junior team won the national finals.
“She was at Ecclesbourne School and won three or four of national finals there while she was there.
“Obviously those wins were not just down to one player though as there were a lot of very good young players.
“She left us at the age of 16 as she thought it was time to move on to pastures new and went to play for Cannock. She had two or three years there, then two or three years at Beeston before she joined Surbiton on the centralised England programme.”
Hollie started out at Belper HC after they advertised their Sunday morning junior sessions at the local primary schools, falling in love with the sport from the very first session.
From there she followed it all the way to making her England debut against South Africa in Cape Town in 2013, just before finishing her degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield.
A superb defender with a mean hit, she has already won a European gold medal, and enjoys coaching local youngsters when she’s not playing.
Before she flew out to Rio, she said of being selected: “It has always been the dream since I started playing hockey.
“I remember watching the Sydney Olympics and thinking this is amazing and that is what I want to do.
“I’ve played all the age group stuff and was in the U21 team at London. I went to watch, but never really thought that in four years time it would be me.
“It hasn’t really sunk in and maybe after the Games I’ll really appreciate it. That is a good thing, because I’ve broken it down to just a hockey tournament.”
The GB squad were told of their selection via email with the chosen few listed in alphabetical order.
“I’m right at the bottom of the list,” she said. “You see all the other names and I can remember seeing mine.
“I had to check, double check and then get someone else to check for me to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.”